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Baccarat Paperweight

Baccarat Paperweight

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Description (Brief)
In the 1700s, paperweights made from textured stone or bronze were part of the writer’s tool kit, which also included a quill pen and stand, inkpot, and blotter. By the mid-1800s, decorative paperweights produced by glassmakers in Europe and the United States became highly desired collectibles.
Decorative glass paperweights reflected the 19th-century taste for intricate, over-the-top designs. Until the spread of textiles colorized with synthetic dyes, ceramics and glass were among the few objects that added brilliant color to a 19th-century Victorian interior. The popularity of these paperweights in the 1800s testifies to the sustained cultural interest in hand craftsmanship during an age of rapid industrialization.
The French firm, Baccarat, was originally founded as the Verrerie Renaut in 1764, by request of the Bishop of Metz to the King of France, Louis XV. After the French Revolution, the company was re-named Verrerie de Baccarat. Peak production of Baccarat paperweights was between 1846 and1855.
This Baccarat glass paperweight features a “Gridel” silhouette cane (said to be named after a young boy whose cut paper silhouettes inspired Baccarat’s glass workers), and “1847” and “1848” date canes.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
paperweight
date made
1847-1848
maker
Baccarat
place made
France: Grand Est, Baccarat
Physical Description
glass, transparent (overall material)
millifiori (joint piece production method/technique)
Measurements
overall: 1 7/8 in x 2 21/32 in; 4.7625 cm x 6.731 cm
ID Number
CE.67.224
catalog number
67.224
accession number
213138
Credit Line
Mrs. Florence E. Bushee
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
Domestic Furnishings
Art
Paperweights
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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